Since Yahya Jammeh refused to accept defeat at the polls, he has jumping from one reason to another to justify his rejection of the results. At first he was complaining about the errors and subsequent corrigendum that followed the announcement of the first results. Yesterday, at the meeting of the so-called African Bar Association the reason he put forward is the difference of 360,000 between the registered voters and those who actually turnout to vote.
It is a known fact that there over three hundred thousand Gambians currently living outside the country and 90% of these are above the age of 18 years therefore are in possession of voter’s cards. It is also estimated that aver 80, 000 young Gambians have crossed the sea using the back-way to Europe. Now, we can easily say that about 300,000 registered Gambians living abroad were not allowed to vote as Jammeh did not want the IEC to extend voting outside the Gambis. Not even the significant number of Gambians currently living in Senegal, Guinea Bissau and Guinea Conakry. Not to mention Nigeria, Mali, Ghana and South Africa. So whose fault is it when Gambians in the diaspora did not come to vote? Do you have to blame the IEC for low voter turnout? Let’s look at the figures for past voter turnout and we will see similar trend in 2006 when there was a turnout of 59% yet Yahya Jammeh was the winner then:
Year Total Votes Registered Total Votes Cast Voter Turnout Votes For Jammeh %
1996 446, 541 394, 537 88.4% 220, 011 55.77%
2001 509, 301 458, 533 90% 242, 302 52.8%
2006 670, 336 392, 685 59% 264, 404 67.3%
2011 796, 929 657, 904 83% 470, 550 72%
2016 886, 578 520, 963 58.8% 208, 475 39.6%
The analysis above clearly show that there were low voter turnouts in 2006 (59%) and 2016 (58.8%).
-In 2001 during the campaigning on October 16, a clash erupted in Tallingding between the supporters of the ruling APRC and UDP on the last day of official campaigning. Security forces shot and killed one Ousman Ceesay at point blank range, killing him instantly. The incident was never investigated and there was no arrest.
– In 2006, the opposition rejected the results claiming widespread voter intimidation by local chiefs, governors and security agents. The voter turnout of 59% was almost the same as in 2016. But that time Jammeh won win 67.3% lead. There was no complaint then.
It is time for Jammeh to stop looking for excuses and respect the decisions of the people. The people want a change of leadership and have voted massively for Adama Barrow. That decision must be respected. Going by the headline in Jammeh’s Observer newspapeer today, “Gambian Issues Can Best Be Addressed By Gambains>”, we dont need Nigerians to came and tell us whether we have a properly constituted Supreme Court or not. We don’t need Nigerians to come and become Judges to tell us whether the results of the election are correct or not neither do we need them to interpret our laws and Constitution for us. Gambians have spoken and Jammeh must respect the wishes of the people.
All the people, associations, unions and reputable international institutions want a peaceful hand-over of power to president-elect Adama Barrow. Yahya Jammeh can not smuggle his family out of the country and expect Gambians to die for him. More than one million voices around the world cannot be wrong.
Written By An Insider